Tidbits - February 25, 2016 - Reader Comments: Why America Is Moving Left; The Bernie Movement; Angela and Fania Davis; Socialism; Puerto Rico; Solidarity with India; and more...

Reader Comments: Times Invents 'Left' Economists to Attack Sanders; Trump - Most Dangerous Face in GOP Field; Bernie and the Movement; Why America Is Moving Left; Fania and Angela Davis - New Kind of Civil Rights Activism; Teachers Walk-In in 30 Cities; Sanitizing Socialism and Needing to Create a New Kind of Capitalism With a Conscience; Announcements: Life Is Waiting - Film Banned in UAE, Lebanon, Belgium; New York Faculty Unions Supports India Students and Faculty
February 25, 2016
Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - February 25, 2016
Portside

 

Announcements: 
 
 
 
First they will ignore you.
Then they will laugh at you.
Then they will fight you.
Then you will win.
 
I do believe we're reaching stage 3, and the velocity is increasing...
 
Jack Radey
 
     ====
 
They are worried. Can we increase the pressure on the 1%ers.
 
Brian Obrien
 
 
 
 
 
a must-read analysis of the rise of Donald Trump and why it's so dangerous. It's not Trump. - it's his open appeals to hatred, racism and bigotry he's unleashed and that have been given acceptability by the media and by the refusal of the other GOP candidates to repudiate his fascist rhetoric. Please take the time to read this important analysis...
 
Duba Weinstein
 
     ====
 
Trump is dangerous, but reflects the inner feelings of white supremacy.  But he is loud and overt, so his undoing will be his own mouth. 
 
Cruz, on the other hand, is far more dangerous, because he is all that Trump is in ego, but he hides it in "Intelligence", quiet serial killer demeanor.  Ill take megalomania over serial killer any day.    Cruz wants world domination and denotes it early life like a cartoon villain, with conviction and a sinister laugh.  Crazy!
 
m decime
 
 
 
 
The problem with a movement to organize the left in the US is that it leads to discuss a third party, which has never worked. Bernie is exceptional in that he has started this campaign within the Democratic Party, which is what gives it half a chance. His problem with the black community may well be partly his personality but it is also because some well-known old-time black leaders have publicly come out for Hilary Clinton, which is not helpful to him.
 
I am now thinking about the end-game. If Trump actually becomes the candidate, Sanders would be better against him. Both are independent - Trump because he is wealthy and self-funded and Sanders because he has started a movement of small donors. Hilary is not independent and therefore vulnerable. She might do better against Rubio, but Sanders would too.
 
I expect both parties' brass are thinking about who will be the candidates and it might affect their actions. That is the stage it has reached. If Sanders can win a few more primaries, in the west, he may still be a contender. Jeb Bush could get nowhere because of his ties in an election like this and for the same reason Clinton is vulnerable. The electorate is prepared to be crazy rather than go on as usual; Sanders is a saner bet than Trump.
 
American politics are always crazy and stressful.
 
Laurel MacDowell
 
 
 
 
 
Author forgot to include Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota.  He defied the Black Caucus and used his own considerable intellect to know who will take our country and play a leadership role in taking our planet in a direction that can save us all.
 
Claire O'Connor
 
 
 
 
I don't think Peter Beinart essay tells me why we're moving left or even that we are. He does recount many of the factors and issues which have brought people into the streets and into politics. Questions I still want answers to after reading this?  Why are some of us not in motion? (Old people as a group seem not to be moving left) Why are those the very most under the gun (workers whose jobs are being exported, for example) less in motion? And most particularly: why does anyone vote GOP?
 
Daniel Millstone
 
 
 
 
 
The hurt is our lowered expectations! Thanx Bernie for bringing realistic hope!
 
Chuck Weed
 
 
 
 
 
On a mad hunt for real progressive stuff to read, not NYT swill (increasingly disappointing, that). Here's excerpt from article posted here: 
 
"Bernie Sanders has already changed the world more than Hillary Clinton, despite all her vaunted years of experience. She manages process, but he moves the argument."
 
Megge Fitz-Randolph
 
 
 
 
 
While I want to jump for joy and cheer this man on, I am saddened and heartbroken for the life that was stolen.
 
Instead I will pray for strength and support for him as he transitions into a world he has never known
 
Jessica Richmond
 
 
 
 
 
This is an important read, I believe. The thoughts expressed here by these two iconic activist American women of African descent resonate with what I am living, teaching, advocating as a Muslim man and leader. The still-lingering effects of psycho-spiritual trauma resulting from oppression, on Black folk in America and the world, and the same on Muslims in the Black community, as well as in the so-called Third World bespeak of a need for healing. We who are Muslims must seek this through the vehicles accessible to us through Islam (worship (ibaadat) , purification of the soul (tazkiyyatun-nafs), character and ethics building (akhlaaq, adab) etc.) even as we strive to enjoin the good and forbid the evil in ourselves and in society.
 
Imam Talib
 
     ====
 
Here comes Angela... whom I've been trying to interview for our "Black Russians" for a while. She seems unreachable although she did agree to be interviewed. At that time when she was jailed in the US, the Soviet Union played a big part in getting her out. She was one of our heroes when we were little. And I remember when being a young pioneer I screamed "Free Angela Davis!" in the classroom with my classmates and a teacher conducting.
 
Yelena Demikovsky
 
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Labor)
 
This is both startling and disconcerting to say the least. The key point of this article is clearly stated in the headline: "In Just 60 years (most of my lifetime!!!) NEOLIBERAL capitalism has nearly broken the planted." My criticism of the article is that it then runs on--not incorrectly-- about that beginning around 1950 we humans began living the Age of The Great Acceleration directly linked to changes largely related to the global economic system (Neoliberal capitalism) characterized by climate change, species extinction and bio diversity loss, deforestation and other land-system changes, and altered biogeochemical cycles ( changes to how key organic compounds like phosphorus and nitrogen ). But what drives this greed? Myopic capitalists' collective addiction to globalization, outsourcing, and compulsive consumption. greedy one-point percent (.01) of our "One Percenters" maniacal addiction to the most greedy profit-making.
 
"The new study also concludes that the bulk of economic activity, and so too for now the lion's share of the OECD countries (US/NATO/Japan/Korea) which in 2010 accounted for about 74% of global GDP but only 18% of the global population. This points to the profound scale of global inequality, which distorts the distribution of the benefits of the Great Acceleration and confounds international efforts, for example climate change agreements, to deal with its impacts on the Earth System."
 
Larry Aaronson
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Labor)
 
The East Side Freedom Library hails our sisters and brothers in the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers for their efforts to give the children in our community the schools that they deserve.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Another commentary on why I stood with Apple tonight - for all of us.
 
Sheila Parks
 
 
 
 
 
If Millennials are coming out in droves to support Bernie Sanders, it's not because we are tripping balls on Geritol. No, Sanders's clever strategy of shouting the exact same thing for 40 years simply strikes a chord among the growing number of us who now agree: Washington is bought. And every time Goldman Sachs buys another million-dollar slice of the next American presidency, we can't help but drop the needle onto Bernie's broken record: The economy is rigged. Democracy is corrupted. The billionaires are on the warpath.
 
Farah Davari
 
 
 
 
 
This is wonderfully lively, and takes no prisoners because it doesn't deign to.
 
I hope some of us, however jaundiced we may be by US antipathies to Russian communism, will listen. Between Bernie and this amazing survivor Mrs. Lamont there is much to discuss. If only Hillary would listen.
 
John Crawford
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our film 'LIFE IS WAITING: referendum and resistance in Western Sahara' by Iara Lee, has been censored, banned, cancelled numerous times, and this week, organizers at Belgium's Centre Culturel Arabe de Liege who had planned to show the film were informed by authorities that they could not proceed with the screening. The documentary chronicles Western Sahara's nonviolent struggle against Morocco's forty years of occupation.
 
Efforts to block the film screening reflect a pattern by the Morrocan government to censor materials that support self-determination for Western Sahara. Screenings of LIFE IS WAITING have been banned in multiple countries, including Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. Screenings in Australia and Benin have also faced threats of cancellation but took place in spite of outside pressure.
 
We are outraged but determined to use these bans as motivation to increase our commitment to raising awareness around the world of Morocco's occupation of Western Sahara. Last year, The Guardian reported on the occupation, writing, "Morocco and Western Sahara engaged in armed conflict until 1991, when the UN brokered a ceasefire. As part of the deal, Morocco was supposed to conduct a referendum for Sahrawis to decide whether they wanted to be part of an independent nation or remain under Moroccan rule. But that referendum still hasn't happened."
 
LIFE IS WAITING continues to screen worldwide, and it has also won a number of awards. You can find more information about the film here.
 
Our other new film, K2 AND THE INVISIBLE FOOTMEN, is also screening globally. Upcoming screenings are listed here.
Iara Lee and local organizers are available for interviews. Press photos of the director and crew, as well as stills from the film, are available here.
 
Media contact:  Amelia White
Cultures Of Resistance Network
 
 
 
CULTURES OF RESISTANCE NETWORK connects and supports activists, agitators, educators, and artists to build a more just and peaceful world through creative resistance and nonviolent action!
 
Cultures of Resistance Network
65 Broadway, Suite 807
New York, NY 10006
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photo Credit: redhope // Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung-New York Office
 
 
Puerto Rico is being buried under $70 billion of debt and is in danger of default. This fiscal meltdown has shifted all aspects of life on the island; leading to slashes in the public sector, skyrocketing unemployment, and massive migration from the island to the United States mainland. The toxic cocktail of austerity, debt, and lack of democratic governance has led Puerto Rico to be called "the Greece of the Caribbean," after the Mediterranean country which recently went through its own struggle against the infamous Troika of debt collectors.
 
As the crisis deepens, social movements on the mainland and on the island are looking for solutions that go beyond calls for "fiscal responsibility." What does the current crisis have to teach us about Puerto Rico's relationship to the United States federal government? What led to this level of indebtedness, and who stands to profit from it? This public roundtable will answer these and other questions in a call to action for progressive alternatives.
 
Panelists:
  • Juan Gonzalez, Columnist NY Daily News, Co-Host Democracy Now!
  • Sofia Gallisá Muriente, Filmmaker and Activist, Beta Local, Occupy Sandy
  • José Alejandro La Luz, Vice Chair DSA, Stand With Puerto Rico Coalition
 
Wednesday, March 9, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
 
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung-New York Office
275 Madison Avenue, Suite 2114 (entrance over 40th St.)
New York, NY 10016
 
Free and open to the public. Registration here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
[adopted by the International Committee and Executive Council, Professional Staff Congress (PSC-AFT)]
 
PSC-CUNY stands in solidarity with the students, faculty and staff of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, India, in their struggle against state repression of political speech.  
 
We condemn the arrest of JNU student union President, Kanhaiya Kumar, on charges of sedition and the expulsion of eight students by the university administration. The students are being persecuted by the Indian government and the university administration for participating in a rally protesting state policies and actions. We hold that it is a gross abuse of power for a democratic state to punish its citizens for exercising their right to political dissent.   
 
JNU is not a stand-alone incident; the recent attacks on students at other universities, like Jadavpur, and University of Hyderabad where it led to the tragic suicide of Dalit activist, Rohith Vemula, are part of the same pattern of harassment and repression. We believe that the targeting of politically active youth at public universities reveals the broader program of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) to push its neoliberal attack on the poor, its discriminatory agenda against minorities, its promotion of a hawkish foreign policy, and its squelching of political dissent. 
 
We, at the City University of New York, and our fellow academics at universities throughout the USA fully appreciate the dangers of stifling academic freedom through our own destructive history. Our union is committed to fighting against class oppression, racism, and sexism, and to vigorously defend the right to political opposition. 
 
We join faculty and students from across the world - including University of Texas, Doctoral Students Council, CUNY, Purdue University, Williams College in the US, Canadian universities, University of Leuven, Belgium, University of Oxford, UK, Bangalore Research Network, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and University of Hyderabad in India -  to express our solidarity with the students and faculty at JNU. We call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately cease the pattern of persecution at universities. We also call on the Vice Chancellor of JNU to drop all punitive measures against the students engaged in protests, and to demand the immediate release of Kanhaiya Kumar.
 

 

February 25, 2016